Pride Fort Lauderdale held its inaugural event of 2015 Monday evening, March 30, at the Pride Center, honoring Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Dean Trantalis with its ‘Pridehonors’ series Medallion Award.
First elected to the City Commission in 2002, Trantalis, an attorney, was given the award for “forty years of meritorious service on behalf of the cause of LGBT human rights.” And he promptly delivered a stern warning to the audience of over 100 persons that the fight is not over.
“While I am ever so grateful for the award,” he said, “we must all be ever so vigilant against the continuing encroachments on our freedoms, as we are seeing in Indiana this week.”
Trantalis reminded the crowd early Pride marches years ago were protest rallies to protect LGBT rights, and that there “are still battles to be won, and we can’t let up.”
The ceremony honored Trantalis, but promoted the two-day festival slated for Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale on October 10 and 11 this year.
Norm Kent, the Chair of the newly renamed Pride Fort Lauderdale, announced that the event’s theme would be “We’re Coming Out,” tying in to National Coming Out Day, which is October 11.
PFL also announced at the meeting that the next Medallion Awards Ceremony in the ‘Pridehonors’ series would be going to Broward County Court jurists Robert Lee and Lisa Porter, a gay man and gay woman, who presided over same sex weddings earlier this year, hours after they were declared legal in a court opinion.
“Our goal this year in the ‘Pridehonors’ series is to honor and acknowledge all the good people who have been helping our community for years,” said John Fugate, the Event Chair.
Earlier this year, Pride South Florida changed its legal corporate name from Pride One of Broward County to Greater Fort Lauderdale Pride, Inc., and adopted a new name and logo, operating under the new moniker of Pride Fort Lauderdale.
A silent auction with gift baskets donated by local businesses raised a few hundred dollars to fund the festival. Dignity Memorial Network sponsored Monday's event, with Catering Solutions providing hot hors d'oeuvres.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation will be the presenting sponsor for the October festival, joined with support from the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. The event will also partner with the Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival to showcase LGBT films.
Will McKell, Pride Fort Lauderdale’s newly appointed office manager and program specialist stated the group was looking for volunteers to help coordinate a series of upcoming events.
“Pride Fort Lauderdale,” he noted, “is one of the 501(c)3 groups you can even volunteer for to fulfill judicially ordered community service hours.” He can be reached at 954-561-2020.